SENATORS Loren Legarda and Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao are now qualified for promotion to full colonels after completing their course at the Command General and Staff College (CGSC), the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said on Tuesday.
Lt. Cdr. Emerson Namoca, spokesman of the AFP Education and Training Doctrines Command, said the two lawmakers were now eligible to be promoted as colonels for the Reserve Force of the military.
However, Namoca said Legarda and Pacquiao would have to submit their promotion requirements to their respective major service commands.
Legarda is a reservist of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) while Pacquiao is with the Philippine Army.
“Once their requirements are approved, it will be deliberated and then they will be given the orders [for promotion]to colonel,” Namoca told reporters in an interview.
The two senators, he added, were also able to complete the requisite course of the CGSC since all military officers and reservists aiming for the colonel rank must undergo this.
Namoca said the classification of Pacquiao and Legarda was that of resident instruction student.
In 1993, Legarda obtained her master’s degree in National Security Administration at the National Defense College of the Philippines (NDCP) while Pacquiao entered the reserve force of the Army in April 2006 with a rank of sergeant or as enlisted personnel.
The Filipino boxing legend became a reservist, with rank of lieutenant colonel in September 2011.
Also on Tuesday, the Class of 62 of the CGSC held its commencement exercises at the AFP Commissioned Officers’ Club in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.
A total of 187 students and reservists — including Pacquiao and Legarda – graduated.
Former Defense secretary Orlando Mercado was the guest of honor.
Of the number of graduates, 166 are military officers in the AFP while the 21 are members of the reserve forces.
In a caption to her photo of the ceremony, Legarda said: “It is truly an honor for me to be part of the 62nd Class of the AFPCGSC. Not only does this deepen my sense of responsibility as a Filipino, but it also renews my commitment of service to our country.”
Legarda said she also received an award for Academic Excellence for Research for her paper “The AFP in the Humanitarian Space: Building Resilience and Fostering Resilient Communities,” which explores the role of the military not just in responding to disasters, but also in reducing climate and disaster risks.
On his Instagram account, Pacquiao said: “Today, I successfully defended my Commandant’s paper to promoted to a full Colonel.”
Like Legarda, Pacquiao said he considered it a “great honor to be part of the command and general staff course of Class 62.” DEMPSEY REYES